- Consumer Electronics & Personal Gadgets
Kinkoo Infinite One Portable Power Bank Review
Kinkoo is another small start-up that specializes in power banks. Founded back in 2012, they currently have one power bank, the Infinite One, on the market and the Infinite Nova coming out very soon. Unlike most power bank manufacturers, Kinkoo power banks use lithium polymer batteries, which have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Today, we will put the Kinkoo Infinite One to the test to see just how it stacks up in this industry.
Price and Shipping
The Kinkoo Infinite One costs $79.90. Hold your horses or, if you don't have any, that itchy finger just itching to slide that credit card back into your wallet. Yes, the Kinkoo Infinite One does carry a hefty price tag, but let's not jump to conclusions here. I did have a positive experience with the Kinkoo so it does have its perks.
Moving onto shipping, buyers should be happy to note that anything overall $50 will qualify for free world-wide shipping provided by Fedex. Tracking numbers are provided, but estimated delivery times are between three to five days so it'll be there before a blink of an eye or a few blinks if you happen to live really far away.
The Box...Looks Amazing!
It almost feels like as if you just bought an iPhone. The box is elegantly simplistic. It comes with its own thank you letter and this is the first instance you realize that Kinkoo cares about customer satisfaction. Other manufacturers may hide or make their warranty policy hard to find. Kinkoo is different. The warranty information is written right near the end of the letter informing buyer that they should register their power banks on the website to receive one year plus three months of warranty.
Make Sure To Read The Back
The Infinite One comes in two color variations - white and black. The packaging shows the black variation, but I received the white one so it appears that there are no separate packaging for the two models. This is given on the sticker so before you open up the box, contain your excitement and check the sticker first to ensure that you received the right variation. Kinkoo's refund policy provides limited 30 days money back so it is best not to open the package and give them a reason not to refund your Kinkoo.
Other than that, I was surprised to see a foreign designer. After opening up the package, I see that the design does pay off. It is not what you would normally expect from a power bank in terms of shape and size. Let's take a look.
Opening Up The Box
The Infinite One is about the size of my Galaxy S4 so I would say about five inches diagonal. It has the company logo sitting there on the bottom and the power button with its battery status indicators off to the side leaving you with a very clean look. The first thing you'll notice is that the body isn't smooth. It has a matte like finish. I personally don't mind this as it gives off the durability feeling to it. In my other review, the power bank reviewed featured a smooth buffed plastic body. Comparing the two, I can't really decide which one I like better. Kinkoo did a great job with the design selection. I feel that adding this matte crosses finish doesn't make the power bank feel like it is encased in just some ordinary cheap plastic.
Taking Everything Out Of The Box
Laying out the contents, you will find the the power bank of course. It also comes with a miro-fiber carrying pouch, which you don't see very often. Aside from that, you have the instructions booklet. I strongly recommend reading it through as well as saving it for later. It lists out the technical specifications, which will be useful if you are traveling by air. I didn't think of this much before, but these instructions caught my attention. Airlines have carry-on standards so it is important to make sure that this power bank meets those standards. I did a quick check online and anything under 100 WH seems to be acceptable. However, it is best to confirm with your individual airline to make sure that this power bank is an acceptable carry-on even though it states it is approved by the TSA. Finally, there is not one, but two USB to micro-USB cords for your convenience. We will look into that just a bit further in this review.
The Front Of The Power Bank
As mentioned earlier, the power bank's body supports a matte like feel giving it the premium look and feel. The actual material is just two hard plastic casings put together down the middle. Given my hands-on experience, it can definitely withstand a few drops, scrapes, and bumps. One benefit of the rough plastic surface over a buffed smooth plastic surface would be the visibility of scratches. Scratches are non-existent on the Kinkoo, which is another major plus. It's definitely the perfect companion for outdoors traveling and adventures use.
The Back Of The Power Bank
A very clean back with the technical specifications available once again. Note that the input states 2A max so you do not necessarily have to recharge the power bank with a 2A wall adapter. It is perfectly fine to recharge the power bank via an 1A wall adapter or your 650 mAh computer USB port. I do not recommend this mainly for efficiency reasons. Why take longer to recharge the power bank when you can spend less time? It look me four hours and seven minutes to charge the power bank using my Samsung 2A output wall adapter. If you drop to an 1A wall adapter, the charge time will double to eight hours provided that your wall adapter's current does not fluctuate. Since the Kinkoo does not come with a wall adapter, I recommend investing in a good 2A wall adapter to speed up your charge time. Make sure to do some research on wall adapters as well because cheaper wall adapters tend to be poorly made. Their internal circuitry tends to be simpler lacking current control.
Need A Wall Adapter?
The output current is close enough to 2A. I have done a charge log detailing the time to charge a 2,600 mAh battery with this power bank. I have posted this below to give you a rough idea how long it takes to charge a Galaxy S4.
The Side View
As you can see, the Kinkoo infinite One is incredibly thin. Over on its website, the thickness measures at 0.4 inches. I guess this is one of the reasons for choosing the lithium polymer batteries. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, the lithium polymer batteries do not have to take on rigid shapes, this allows them to span over a greater area at the same time as reducing the overall thickness. Compared to lithium-ion batteries, polymer batteries are more expensive to produce, which we see in the hefty price tag that it carries. However, be rest assured that it is worth every penny especially given the polymer's improved safety ratings over the lithium-ion. This is in terms of overheating and flammability. Finally, they have an incredible storage life losing less than 0.1% of their capacity per month, which makes the Kinkoo a great for both everyday use and in case of emergencies. It may be a good idea to consider packing one of these with your survival kits in case natural disasters do hit.
Unfortunately, unlike the other power banks I've reviewed, you don't get a built-in LED light. To some this is a bummer while not a big deal to me as I can just use the flash on my smartphone. The other disadvantage you'll notice is that there is only one USB charger port. This means only one device can be charged at a time. This may be a problem for some using multiple devices outdoors as it would require you to compromise. However, given the fast charging speed, it doesn't hurt to partial charge one device and then swap it out for another.
This is a close up of the power button and the four LED lights. When it arrived, two were lit so I guess 50% full as each one would represent 25%. By the looks of it, there's not much light leakage into the placeholders beside it. This provides easy visibility allowing at a glance confirmation of how much juice is left in the power bank. These LED lights are insanely bright when dark. They flash during charge so when all four lights give off a constant blue glow, the power bank is fully charged. Once a recharge is necessary, the 25% light will start flashing and eventually shut off completely preventing the power bank from turning back on.
Its efficient design can also recognize when a device is not plugged in. It will auto-shutoff within five seconds unless the USB slot is plugged in. This smart feature is just one of the simple ways the power bank uses its powers efficiently. This feature is actually quite useful. I did accidentally yank out the cord from the power bank. It would have kept discharging if it didn't have this feature.
The power button is very straight forward. No price and hold needed. One click will turn the power bank on and another click will turn it off. There is no separate power light; it is either on or off when the LED lights are on or off.
Finally, this image provides a better close-up of the texture on the surface of the power bank. The edges slant off inwards a bit as it moves towards the sides. The two sides are smooth as well. Only the immediate top and bottom surfaces have this web like texture uprooted in it. If you happen to have the black variation, let me know what you think of it and lets compare the differences if any.
Charge Log and Efficiency Test
The charge log and efficiency test is to test the actual performance of the battery. Rather than listing the specifications and calculating the theoretical charges, I actually performed the two tests and recorded the details. The charge log is benchmarked against my Samsung Galaxy S4 2,600 mAh battery equipped smartphone. This will give you a rough idea as to how long it will take to charge your smartphone. Since the Galaxy S4 packs a much bigger battery than most smartphones, your charge time should generally fall someone under. The efficiency test is to measure the true charging capabilities of the power bank. Based on the speciifcations, it should take roughly four hours to recharge the power bank given a full 2A output of my adapter. However, the current will fluctuate so the target time will be benchmarked at around four hours for satisfactory efficiency.
The charge log indication shows that the power bank actually delivered an output current of 1.11A. It should have charged my device in about 1.5 hours if it indeed did provide the true 2.1A output. However, this may be an factor caused by Samsung's lithium-ion battery. There are three charge stages - fast, full, and trickle. Notice that based on the charge log, the power bank spent the most time over on the tickle charging. My recommendation is to charge your device 90% full with the power bank. The extra 10% trickle charge reduces the overall average current, which slows down the charge completion time.
Of course, we will also need to perform an efficiency test on the Kinkoo. This is to charge up the Kinkoo from empty and measure the time it takes. However, due to the nature of having only four increments, we will only time the charge from empty to full and not the increments.
The power bank took much longer than I thought. The absolute charge time was five hours and forty-eight minutes. I would round this off to slightly under six hours as the charge speed would vary with adapters. I used Samsung's 2.1A adapter. I recommend going higher than lower, but not too high as the stated current would most likely be the theoretical current and not the actual.
The Kinkoo does not come with one, but two USB to micro-USB cords. The shorter 20 cm one is used to hook the power bank to your device whether it be a smartphone or tablet. A longer cord will dangle. It may not be a problem if the power bank could be placed somewhere stable. However, it isn't very convenient if you are on-the-go. The shorter cord enables you to hold both the power bank and your device in your hands with minimal cable interference. The longer 100 cm cord hooks better with a wall adapter as it provides the extra reach.
I was a bit surprised to see that even these USB cords are Kinkoo branded. They took the extra step with embossing the ends. It is a bit hard to see in the photo because of the black wrapper. Not a big a deal of course, these work just fine. I should also mention that any generic USB to micro-USB cord would work although I did notice that the Kinkoo cords are slightly thicker than your usual generic ones.
The Micro-Fiber Pouch
Although I don't see the point of the micro-fiber material, I guess it is a nice to have. There is no practical purpose. It is not possible to clean the power bank with the micro-fiber pouch. I guess it is possible to clean the screen of your device with the pouch, but then it would just pick up dust particles. Anyway, the pouch is a nice to have.
The image above shows the fit of the power bank inside the pouch. There is a bit of extra room for which I keep the shorter 20 cm USB to micro-USB cord in there. I do not keep the longer 100 cm one in there because it is a much tighter fit. Putting the cords in with the power bank is not the problem. The problem is putting the power bank in the pouch when the cords are already inside. There is just too much hassle with this and I don't want to be constantly taking out the cords just so I can put everything back in. When I'm on the go (commuting), I generally don't find the opportunity to charge the power bank so the longer cord, which I use for charging, just stays at home.
The Kinkoo Infinite One is one of the very few power banks that live up to its expectations. One of the reasons for this is the use of the lithium polymer battery over lithium-ions. It has an incredible shelf live and the charge test does provide a near 2A output charge so you can expect a quick charge top up of your device. It is TSA safe so it is definitely a perk to speed up your travel. I personally commute on both the bus and train on almost a daily basis so this being able to charge my device twice over and a bit more is definitely a perk for me. Because of its 0.4 inch thickness, it slides into pockets quite easily especially those tight jeans pockets. You may notice a slight chaffing feel as it brushes against your waist, but user experience will vary. I did not notice any flaws in this power bank and lives up to my satisfaction. I would give this a 9.5 out of 10 for an all around score. I just have to dock 0.5 off for the USB port availability. It's a real shame that this can't be the power bank to deliver a twin 2.1A output.